WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW


Zonotrichia leucophrys


Description:

I love these birds. The distinct light and dark stripes on their heads is fantastic. These birds feed along the ground and hang out in grasslands and thickets. This bird has been a template for much of what is known about bird migration. Although its song varies on a local basis, this bird has a quick and whistley voice.


Appearance:

Light gray face and underparts. Distinct black and white stripped crown. Tan back with dark stripes. Stripped mantle and pink, conical beak. Immature birds have a crown with dark brown stripes ... instead of black. Sexes similar. 5 to 6 inches in length.


Habitat:

Grasslands, fields, and backyards.


Nesting:

3-5 pale green eggs with lots of brown spots and an 11-14 day incubation period. Nestlings fledge after 7-12 days. The nest is an open cup made from twigs, bark, and grass lined with softer grasses and hair. It usually resides on or near the ground.


Observed Locations:

  • Lake Murray, La Mesa
  • Fiesta Island, Mission Bay
  • Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego
  • "The Drip", Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma





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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.